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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Radniecki Camping Trip 2013 | Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

About 6 weeks ago, Matt and I took Remy camping for a long 4 day weekend.

It was the only free weekend I had in my 5-weddings-in-6-weeks stretch, and we were determined to take advantage of the fall weather and get some fun in before winter came.

Our original plan was to go down to Forestville Mystery Cave in Southern Minnesota. We had heard good things and we both love caves, so we thought it'd be a good spot to try. However, the day we left was cold, rainy and incredibly windy. We borrowed my parents' Astro van and Matt's family's pop up camper for the trip, and driving that rig down the road was like slithering a snake down the highway. Wayyy to the left, correct wayyy to the right. As someone who gets car sick easily, I wasn't feeling well by the Brainerd Welcome Center, a whopping 12 minutes into the 4 1/2 hour trip...

We thought we'd tough it out and hoped it might get better the further south we got. After passing Little Falls and being ready for some serious dramamine, we decided that we couldn't take this wind/swerving for 4 more hours. I called my mom and she told me about two campgrounds on the south side of Mille Lacs lake that I had apparently been to when I was little. She remembered them as being great spots and thought they'd be fun for us. We looked at the map, called to see if Mille Lacs Kathio had availability and were thankfully able to transfer our spot from Forestville to Kathio, without losing any money.

After checking in, we pulled into our campsite right as a huge downpour started. Ha, go figure!

Thankfully, we'd packed raincoats so we put them on, left Remy in the crate in the van, and got to work. Setting up the camper was easy, but trying to figure out the canopy and a screen tent we brought was not. 45 minutes later with ornery moods, no canopy and no screen tent, we decided to take a nap in the pop up camper.

The rest of Friday as well as Saturday were rainy and wet. We read books in bed, ate snacks, went to archeological day at the nature center, and tried to cook and have campfires with really damp wood.

Then, Sunday came with brilliant sunshine and blue skies. Over the next two days, we took lots of nature walks, went geocaching for the first time ever, let Remy explore, made tin foil dinners and s'mores. We also soaked up the changing leaves. At this time, the leaves were just beginning to change in Brainerd, but they were further ahead at Kathio and around Garrison. It was close to peak and it was gorgeous!

Then, it was time to pack up and go home. Thankfully, we were only 35 minutes from home instead of the planned 4 1/2 hours, so that made the trip home much easier. Since it was a place neither of us had been to [or remembered being at], we felt like we were far from home. But then we'd see garbage dumpsters that said "Garrison Disposal" on them, and we'd be like "oh yeah, we aren't far from home!"

Major thanks to the Millers and the Hensels for loaning us the camper and the van. We made great family memories and were able to get some R&R in the middle of a very busy season. Now, to make plans for next year!
LKR_4919 LKR_4917 LKR_4938 LKR_4965 LKR_4995 We were driving to the visitor center and we spotted this guy up in the tree. Did you know porcupines have super long, bright red teeth? I had no idea! LKR_4905We kept seeing the paper-like material that wasp nests are made of all over the ground. A day into the stay, Matt points up and says "That's why there was bee paper all over the ground." I am NOT a bee fan at all, so needless to say, this disrupted my mojo for awhile. I couldn't help but stare obsessively at it, trying to see if there were any bees in it. It was probably an older hive, but that didn't make me feel much better. This is one of 3 hives just like it that we saw during our stay in the park. 
And that sucker was huge. Like truly basketball-sized.LKR_4926 LKR_4951 LKR_4953 What does a girl have to do to get a good family photo? LKR_4959 LKR_4966 This is what it's like, trying to take photos of Remy. She won't look, won't show up because she's so dark, or won't sit still long enough for me to snap the shutter. LKR_4973 LKR_4972 LKR_4975 LKR_4977 Once in awhile, especially if Matt helps, I can manage to get one with her looking in my general direction. LKR_4981 LKR_4999 LKR_5002 LKR_5019 LKR_5029 LKR_5036 LKR_5042 LKR_5063 LKR_5081
It was one of my favorite 2013 memories.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, yeah, we did have a bit of a rocky start! :) It's all good though because aren't those times extra memorable?! Thanks for reading!


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